CMEP Bulletin: Palestinians Seek to Fly Flag at UN

CMEP Bulletin: Palestinians Seek to Fly Flag at UN

Palestinians have submitted a draft resolution to the United Nations General Assembly that if passed would allow non-member observer states to raise their flags alongside UN member states. The resolution, co-sponsored by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and 18 other countries, is expected to be voted on by mid-September according to Palestinian Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour.

People wait for the Pope’s Sunday angelus prayer on Saint Peter’s square in the Vatican – 2014-6-8 (AFP)

If passed the resolution would also impact the Vatican, the only other non-member observer state in the United Nations.

Last week the Vatican expressed that while they had no objection to the Palestinians proposing a resolution to fly their own flag “the Holy See does not intend to co-sponsor a draft resolution” and requested “the Permanent Observer Mission of the State of Palestine to the United Nations kindly to remove in its draft resolution any reference to the ‘Holy See’ and any generic reference ‘on behalf of the Observer States.”

In a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Israel’s UN Ambassador Ron Poser called the resolution an attempt by the Palestinians to “score easy and meaningless points at the UN. It’s time to unequivocally tell them: This is not the path to statehood, this is not the way for peace.” The US State Department responded similarly that the “[United States] continue[s] to believe that Palestinian efforts to pursue statehood or endorsements of statehood claims through the UN system that are outside of a negotiated settlement, we believe those actions to be counterproductive.”

This latest effort by Palestinians to obtain international endorsement of a Palestinian State comes amidst rumors that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is retiring. While Abbas announced he was resigning from the Palestine Liberation Organization two weeks ago, the resignation will not go into effect until it has been debated in the Palestinian National Council (PNC), which is scheduled to meet later this month for the first time in nearly 20 years. Earlier this week members of the PLO central committee said reports that Abbas is retiring are premature.

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